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News and Events

February/March

‘Let’s Get Physical’: Exercise May Prove Beneficial in Reducing Influenza

UH Researchers with NIA Funding Examine How Physical Exercise May Reduce the Impact of the Virus in Seniors

This year has been described as the worst U.S. flu epidemic in nearly a decade, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Health officials say they are unable to explain why this flu season is so intense and unusually widespread, causing broad swaths of misery in 48 states and high levels of illness in 43 as of February. To help combat the flu, researchers at the University of Houston have been awarded a two-year, $100,000 grant by the National Institute on Aging (NIA), to examine a strategy to improve influenza vaccinations in older adults. News Release

Ciszek Recognized for Research on Activism

At frank 2018, Dr. Erica Ciszek, assistant professor in integrated strategic communication at UH’s Jack J. Valenti School of Communication, was recognized for her research on how activists use strategic communication. The frank gathering brings together communications strategists, behavioral and social scientists, artists, funders, business leaders and advocates who “connect evidence to action for on-the-ground impact.” Dr. Ciszek was among finalists in cognitive psychology and sociology. She was awarded a $1,500 prize for securing a place in the finals. Her interest in how activists leverage communication strategies to support their mission was sparked in 2010, during a period in which four suicides by young gay teens garnered national attention. Read more

The Impact of Hurricane Harvey on Pregnant Moms

UH assistant professor in the Department of Psychology, Dr. Johanna Bick, is launching a study of women who were pregnant during Hurricane Harvey or who became pregnant within six months after, to track the role of stress in neonatal development and pregnancy outcomes and whether a simple, online writing exercise can alleviate some of that anxiety. Read more

After Harvey: Putting History, Disasters into Context

UH Interdisciplinary Faculty Combine Forces to Create New Course

Inspired by Houston’s recent experience of Hurricane Harvey, UH faculty combined forces to develop a new undergraduate course designed to encourage students to view Gulf Coast history from an interdisciplinary perspective and contextualize disasters such as the Galveston hurricane of 1900, Katrina in New Orleans, and Harvey in Houston, within the broader sociohistorical and political-economic landscape. Dr. Keith McNeal, associate professor of anthropology in the Department of Comparative Cultural Studies, and his colleagues feel it’s important for students who have just recently been through the experience of Harvey in Houston “to begin learning and thinking about it critically, not only as residents of the area but also as future professionals and citizens of the city, perhaps changing future career paths and contributions.”   News Release

Three CLASS Students Receive Nationally Competitive Critical Language Scholarships

The College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences (CLASS) is pleased to announce that three CLASS students are the recipients of the prestigious Critical Language Scholarship. Yusuf Bavi a political science and history major, with a minor in Arab studies, Saman Essa a sophomore in the Honors College studying psychology and Middle Eastern studies, with a minor in Medicine & Society and Andrew Neilson a graduate student in the Department of Modern and Classical Languages specializing in teaching Chinese as a second language. Read more

East Meets West: Chinese Students Wrap Up UH Visit

Dr. Temple Northup, director and associate professor at the Jack J. Valenti School of Communication, is excited to have hosted six students and Professor Daniel Ng from Cheung Kong College of Journalism and Communication at Shantou University, located in southeast China. During their two-week visit, which was part of an annual exchange program, the students gained a deeper understanding of how strategic communication works by shadowing a variety of advertising, public relations and media production classes. Read more

Economics Student’s Research Draws Attention

He’s already got research fellowships and scholarships under his belt, a stellar GPA and a White House internship behind him. This undergrad’s senior honors thesis on the merits of consumption taxation vs. income taxation is expected by his professors to be an excellent piece of research, likely to be publishable in a respected economics journal. Jackson Crawford’s mentor and advisor, Dr. Kei-Mu Yi, professor and M. D. Anderson Chair in Economics, says he takes initiative and has made enormous progress in his research skills over the past two years. It seems this student is destined to set the world on fire. Read more

Texas State Historical Association Bestows its Highest Honor on UH Professor and Scholar

Dr. Guadalupe San Miguel, Jr., professor in the Department of History, has been elected a Fellow of the Texas State Historical Association, the highest honor the Association bestows on scholars who research and publish Texas History. Read more

CLASS Mourns the Loss of One of its Own

On Monday, March 12, Houston Council Member Larry V. Green, a graduate of the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences who earned a BA in Political Science, was laid to rest.

“I was saddened to hear the news about the loss of a man I call ‘my brother.’ Larry and I served together in the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity. He was a great man and a kind friend who will be greatly missed,” says Dr. Antonio D. Tillis, dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences and M. D. Anderson Professor in Hispanic Studies at the University of Houston. Read more

Mars in a Box: HHP Faculty Studies Astronaut Fitness

Health and Human Performance (HHP) professor Dr. Charles Layne’s research on helping astronauts maintain muscle strength and aerobic fitness during long periods in space was recently featured in UH Magazine. Dubbed “Mars in a Box,” the Novel Musculoskeletal Loading and Sensorimotor Assessment System is being developed through a grant funded by NASA’s Independent Research and Development Center. Read more

Professor Working to Create Texas Health Impact Index

UH associate professor in the Jack J. Valenti School of Communication, Dr. Jennifer Vardeman-Winter, is collaborating with public and community health researchers from UTMB and Texas A&M University on a project funded by the Texas Medical Center’s Health Policy Institute, titled “Developing a Statewide Health Impact Index for Informing Health-in-All-Policies Decision-Making at State and Local Levels.” This project uses existing databases to create an index for every zip code in Texas that estimates the potential impact the local built, physical and social environments have on the residents living in that area. This index can be used by policymakers to identify areas that may be significantly negatively impacting residents, particularly in disasters.

UH Experts Made Available for 2018 Winter Olympics

While the athletes are going for the gold at the 2018 Winter Olympics, the University of Houston was making faculty experts available to the media on a wide range of topics. Experts included Dr. Billy Hawkins, professor in the department of Health and Human Performance; Dr. Rheeda Walker, associate professor in the department of Psychology; Dr. Zachary Zwald, instructional assistant professor of political science. Read more

Valenti School Welcomes Fulbright Scholar

Dr. Moniza Waheed, Fulbright Scholar, will be working with Assistant Professor Dr. Lea Hellmueller at the Jack J. Valenti School of Communication on a Journalistic Role Performance around the Globe comparative project entitled, “Role Conceptions and Professional Practices of Journalistic Cultures around the Globe.”  In her home country of Malaysia, Waheed serves as a senior lecturer at the Department of Communication, Faculty of Modern Languages and Communication at the Universiti Putra Malaysia.

New Graduate Course in AAS Experiences High Demand

Enrollment numbers have been growing exponentially for the Seminar on Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Malcolm X, which is a component of the University of Houston Graduate Certificate in African American Studies Program. The seminar is a critical study and analysis of the major ideas and doctrines that formed the conceptual frameworks of these two men. It engages in explorations of cultural pluralism, self-determination, Pan Africanism, satyagraha, nonviolence, civil disobedience, reform and revolution.

Major Horn Promoted to New Rank

A grand ceremony took place in February to honor James Horn, UH professor and chair of Military Science, on his promotion to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. During his Army career, he has earned numerous awards and accolades, including five Bronze Star Medals, two Meritorious Service Medals, the Master Parachutist Badge, Combat Infantry Badge and the Expert Infantry Badge. We salute you on your promotion and wish you every success in the future.

Dr. Lynn Maher Recognized for Her Work with Houston Aphasia Recovery Center

Professor and chair of the UH Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, Dr. Lynn Maher, has received a 2018 Burtis/Vogel and Elkins Community Service Award from the Texas Speech-Language-Hearing Association for her submission regarding her work with the Houston Aphasia Recovery Center.

UH Graduate Pens Poem for Super Bowl Ad

Rebecca Wadlinger, a graduate of the University of Houston’s Literature and Creative Writing doctoral program, had her work featured in the Coca-Cola Super Bowl ad, “The Wonder of Us.” Wadlinger wrote the poem which includes the lines, “there’s a Coke for he, and she and her and me, and them.” The ad was the first in a series of television commercials to air for Coca-Cola’s “A Coke for Everyone” platform. Read more

Glass Mountain Students Learn About Printing Processes

Students involved with Glass Mountain, the UH undergraduate literary journal, recently spent an afternoon at UH Printing learning about new processes. In this photo, students are introduced to the old workhorse of the 20th century, the Heidelberg press, which UH Printing still occasionally uses.

Glass Mountain’s brand new online publication, Shards, features fresh and engaging stories and poems every other month.

Mark your calendar for the 10th Annual Boldface Conference for Emerging Writers, which takes place May 21-25 at the M.D. Anderson Library and Honors College. Read more

Black, Deaf Actor and Comedian to Bring His One-Man Show to UH

The University of Houston's American Sign Language Interpreting (ASLI) Program hosted CJ Jones for a special performance of his one-man “The World Adventurist Show” on Feb. 24. 

Jones earned a supporting role in the “Avatar” sequels directed by James Cameron. His recent work can be seen on HULU’s “Castle Rock,” written by Stephen King and in the movie, “Baby Driver” produced by Sony Pictures. 

A world-renowned Black, Deaf comedian and actor, Jones has shared his talents at cultural events around the world for more than 35 years. 

Houston Eats! Conference Highlights Our Polycultural Foodways Scene

The UH Gulf Coast Food Project held the Houston Eats! Texas Gulf Coast Food in the Past, Present and Future conference at UH Feb. 2-3. Dr. Tyina Steptoe, University of Arizona, opened the conference with a riveting keynote presentation that highlighted the polycultural nature of Houston foodways. Interestingly, the majority of the 18 presentations that followed engaged Steptoe’s insight by highlighting how displacement, migration, violence, invention and belonging have shaped and remade how we eat. The conference was the final event in a three-year National Endowment for the Humanities Grant that UH Center for Public History faculty Dr. Monica Perales and Dr. Todd Romero secured. Stay tuned; the conference organizers anticipate using selected conference papers as the basis for an edited volume. Photos of Tyina Steptoe (left) and presenter Mikaela Selley, a UH alumna, were taken by Dr. Todd Romero.

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